In week two the candidates must put themselves through a test that is a matter of life and death: since water covers two thirds of the world’s surface, every astronaut must learn to escape from a space capsule which has crash-landed at sea.
The candidates are tested on their ability to remain calm whilst escaping from an underwater capsule, but not all of them are able to face their fears successfully.
The candidates’ ability to adapt to life in the weightlessness of space is also put to the test as they don goggles which invert their vision, so that everything they see is upside down. This is followed by a visit to the largest space-tech company in Britain, which is responsible for building the next European Space Agency Mars Rover. Here they must operate a prototype of the Rover in a simulated Martian landscape to test their operational decision-making.
Finally, a social event allows astronaut Chris Hadfield and the panel – former NASA medical researcher Dr Kevin Fong and psychologist Dr Iya Whiteley – to discover more about the candidates, and whether they’ve realised that during astronaut selection if you are in the presence of an assessor you are always being assessed…
Not everyone makes the grade.
Pictured are Dr Kevin Fong, Chris Hadfield and Dr Iya Whiteley
Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? Episode 2 (of 6) airs on Sunday 27 August 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Two.